Posts tagged ‘Elbow’

August 1, 2011

Elbow delight Sydney Theatre

Elbow – Enmore Theatre, 29 July 2011

In the slightly ragged glory of Sydney’s Edwardian theatre there was a warm, homely glow emanating from the stage.  Often cited as ‘The People’s band’ in the UK, the five men from Manchester categorically proved this beyond reasonable doubt as well as confirming themselves as the most laid-back, professional and delightful bands covering the circuit.  Lead singer Guy Garvey, curator, raconteur, and master conductor – everyone’s favourite uncle or older brother, never put a foot wrong.  Backed by a band who have matured with a delicate balance of power and poise, the Enmore was putty in their hands.  Garvey is both humility and sensitivity personified, teasing the crowd with witty banter, ‘Can I call you Syd – are we on those terms yet?’, but never presuming anything.  The spatial and poignant, ‘Lippy Kids’ is punctured by excitedly mispitched crowd whistling towards the end, poorly mimicking Garvey’s own, to which he admonishes, ‘Proud whistlers you are Sydney’.  

Having recently become festival favourites, voted best band at this year’s Glastonbury, and regularly featuring high up the festival bills their sound has taken on a more stately and well-rounded dynamic.  Second song in – ‘The Bones of You’ rumbles and swells, while ‘Neat little Rows’ muscular blues riff, stomps.  This is a sound that’s been honed on the road of large arenas and festival crowds, for the small, intimate surrounds of Enmore it’s exhilarating.  Although they are just adept at adding lightness and nuance, including a mid-gig lull, where  Garvey gathered around Craig Potters piano delivers a stripped back and plaintive, ‘The River’.  For the following song, ‘Perfect Weather to Fly’, this hushed intimacy is repeated with full band, imagining old friends jamming fireside in the comfort of each others company.  It is this relaxed demeanor, at ease with themselves and with the world that radiates from the stage and gives bonhomie to all.

Inevitably they save their uplifting, life affirming anthems for last.  Full voiced and rousing, ‘Open Arms’ closes the main set while predictably, every brides and TV Execs favourite tune, ‘One day like this’ becomes the show-stopper to end all shows.  After that there’s know where to go but home, with a spring in the step of course.

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March 17, 2011

The Strokes stream, Justice dabble with a football team

In the year 2011 it is not necessarily what you release it is more a question of how you release it?  Tantamount to what Radiohead have achieved with their latest release, ‘King of Limbs’, substantiating the demand for fast web release, they are not the only one’s flirting with new channels of distribution.

The Strokes are now streaming their new album ‘Angles’ for free on their website, a week before global release. This could backfire if many listeners decide it’s not up to usual standards!  They clearly have faith in their product, it helps that their record company – Rough Trade – is an independent label. The majors certainly wouldn’t want to dabble with this practice. Elbow’s latest release, ‘Build a Rocket Boys’ – through Universal, didn’t want to risk first week sales by using altruistic methods.

Justice have announced the release of a new single, ‘Civilisation’, to be aired to the public through an Adidas advert, stylishly juxtaposed with Lionel Messi and the Argentinian football team.   Bands showcasing music through advertising is certainly not a new idea although in most cases the artist has already released the material and they’re looking for increased exposure.  Justice haven’t even announced the release date for their latest piece of work, this is a clear ploy to create maximum exposure through a cross-platform brand partnership.  Forget the CD single!                                                                                                                                  Mentor’s Daft Punk are similarly about to release new music through a brand partnership with Coca Cola, with limited edition bottle artwork and an advert deal.

The distribution lines are becoming increasingly blurred leading to multi-media deals and innovative practices.  Cloud based services such as Spotify and Last Fm often have pre-release specials from lesser known bands, although the record labels do recoup some money from these outlets.  It will change the landscape dramatically when iTunes and Google launch their respective streaming services, mooted for this year?       They have much more clout than any of the record labels and the most powerful distribution lines in the world, where will that leave the artists?